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D314. New and Expectant Mothers at Work

Policy Statement

Precautions taken to protect the health and safety of the workforce as a whole will, in many cases, also protect new and expectant mothers. However, there are occasions when, due to their condition, different and/or additional measures will be necessary. This policy aims to reduce any identified risks to new and expectant mothers and provide guidance on specific control measures required to protect them. This policy also acknowledges relevant legislative provisions and confirms organisation’s {{org_field_name}}’s commitment to compliance.

Arrangements for Securing the Health and Safety of New and Expectant Mothers

  1. Elimination of Activities Hazardous to New and Expectant Mothers
    {{org_field_name}} will ensure that work activities exposing new and expectant mothers to unacceptable risks are eliminated, so far as is reasonably practicable. Measures to achieve this include preventing exposure to such risks by ensuring:
    a. relevant legal standards (dependent on the risk involved) are met
    b. official guidance and good practice are followed
    c. working conditions and/or hours are adjusted if necessary
    d. if necessary, new and expectant mothers are removed from hazardous activities, ie the employer will provide suitable alternative work or, if this is not possible, will place the employee on paid suspension.
  2. Assessment of Risk
    Where hazardous activities cannot be eliminated, the relevant risk assessments carried out by a competent person should reflect any significant risks for new or expectant mothers — these will be reviewed with the new and expectant mother as part of an individual risk assessment. The assessments will take into account the actual risks associated with the work activities and whether these risks are increased, due to any particular problems experienced by a new or expectant mother during their pregnancy or postnatal period.
    Specifically, the assessment will consider risks associated with exposure to:
    a. physical agents
    b. biological agents
    c. chemical agents.
    The assessment will also consider working and welfare conditions including facilities for rest and breastfeeding.
    Risk assessments relating to new and expectant mothers will be reviewed, and if necessary revised, regularly.

Duties of Managers and Supervisors

Managers and supervisors must ensure that:

  1. new and expectant mothers are encouraged to disclose their pregnancy at the earliest possible opportunity
  2. the highest level of confidentiality must be maintained at all times
  3. risk assessments are carried out for all work activities undertaken under their control, they consider risks specific to new and expectant mothers and associated records and documentation maintained
  4. necessary control measures identified by the risk assessment are implemented, followed, monitored, reviewed and, if necessary, revised
  5. new and expectant mothers are informed of any risks to them and/or their child and the control measures taken to protect them
  6. any adverse incidents are immediately reported and investigated
  7. appropriate training, etc is provided where suitable alternative work is offered and accepted
  8. provision is made to support new and expectant mothers who need to take time off work for medical reasons associated with their condition.
  9. a buddy is allocated and emergency procedures evaluated in terms of evacuation in the event of a fire, etc.

Duties of New and Expectant Mothers

New and expectant mothers:

  1. must inform their general practitioner or midwife of the nature of their work
  2. are encouraged to notify their employer in writing, as soon as possible, if they are pregnant, have just given birth or are breastfeeding
  3. must follow any safety arrangements implemented for their protection, including attending training sessions, complying with control measures, etc
  4. must not act in a manner that adversely affects their own health and safety, that of their child and/or anyone else
  5. must report any perceived or real shortcomings in protection to their employer.

Information and Training

Suitable information, instruction and training will be provided to new and expectant mothers to ensure their health and safety. Training needs will be identified and reviewed by a competent person and support given to allow them to attend any required training sessions. The effectiveness of any training provided will be monitored and training regularly reviewed.

Training should also include ensuring that those people responsible for carrying out risk assessments are competent to do so.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Next review date: this policy is reviewed annually (every 12 months). When needed, this policy is also updated in response to changes in legislation, regulation, best practices, or organisational changes.

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